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Questions tagged [performance-practice]

For questions related to how music is or was performed, including but not limited to issues of instrumentation, tuning, and personnel.

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6 votes
2 answers
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Can castanets play this fast?

Can castanets play as fast as notated here?
brilliant's user avatar
  • 1,257
2 votes
4 answers
526 views

How to get more accurate performances with difficult passages (eg. the end of Chopin Nocturne in C# minor)

I am playing piano as a hobby, but I am putting a lot of effort into perfecting the pieces I like. Specifically, I am playing Chopin nocturne in c sharp minor and although I am playing it for a while, ...
ziv's user avatar
  • 183
0 votes
2 answers
84 views

Monteverdi - "Lasciatemi morire" - why was everyone omitting the "voi"?

I forgot where I found the PDF, was some free sheet music site. This line has the words: "E chi volete voi che mi conforte". At least in the 20th century recordings I found, first, they all ...
user1847129's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
90 views

BWV 851 (WTC 1 prelude in D Minor) - Different versions

I am learning the D minor prelude from book 1 of the well-tempered clavier. I had been following the Henle Verlag Urtext edition, but lost access to it and fell back to this Ricordi edition from IMSLP....
ptal's user avatar
  • 143
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

How quickly can a percussionist switch from vibraphone to marimba during performance?

I am working on this percussionist part. Is the switching from vibes to marimba possible at this tempo? Can the marimba be put behind the vibes or at right angles to the vibes so the player doesn't ...
HughP's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Practice the Beats and Tempos in Franz Liszt Consolations No. 3, Lento placido, in D♭ major, S.172 [duplicate]

In Franz Liszt Consolations No. 3, Lento placido, in D♭ major, S.172, let us call the quarter note as one beat. Thue the eight note is 1/2 beat. The tuplet note (hat 3) is 1/3 beat. We see the right-...
wonderich's user avatar
  • 921
6 votes
1 answer
187 views

What is the earliest use of the note F#?

I came across Richard Taruskin's transcription of Verbum Patris humanatur, a 12th century conductus in three parts, in The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. I. In it, he uses a ficta # above some ...
Mauro Braunstein's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
191 views

When did the oboe wind up being the standard to tune other instruments in an ensemble / orchestra?

As a follow up to the question why does the orchestra tune to the oboe, I'm asking since when this became standard practice? For example, was it since the Modern oboe, or already since the Classical ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
806 views

What, if anything, is known about Bach's interpretation of, or emphasis on, meter?

The modern conventions for meter are, for example, that in 4/4 time, the metrical emphases are S-w+-s-w-, 3/4 is S-w-w, and so on. Did Bach understand meter in these more-or-less strictly regulated ...
Aaron's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
759 views

How fast would Chopin have played his own Fantasie Impromptu, Op. 66?

I came across a performance of Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu by Valentina Lisitsa and was surprised how fast she performed it, around 95 bpm (half-note beat)! Urtext tempo indication is Allegro agitato....
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
258 views

Ornaments in baroque music: should be avoided in some cases?

In baroque music, often the performers add ornaments (or even more complex variations) to the written notes, mostly during a repeat. It's very common to hear them on Bach, Vivaldi, Marcello, etc... ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 222
2 votes
6 answers
738 views

Do classical musicians sometimes go deliberately out of pitch?

Can anyone explain to me what's going on?: I am not and have never been a professional classical musician, but I don't think you need to be one to see that something ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 1,257
7 votes
1 answer
646 views

Bach French Suite BWV 816: Allemande - what is the ornament with the swoosh at the end?

I am using this reference for ornamentation from the Foreword of J.S. Bach 16 well-known original pieces (Henle). The ornament in bar 9 looks like "idem" but the swoosh comes at the end (...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
540 views

Which is more comprehensible for a player after writing fortissimo: forte or meno forte?

So after writing ff when you want musicians to play very loud, would you rather write f alone or meno f if you want them to go a bit softer but still loud enough?
Mart33n's user avatar
  • 180
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why are there pairs of wind instruments in a symphonic orchestra?

Why is it so that there are often two identical oboes, two identical clarinets, two identical bassoons and two identical trombones in a symphonic orchestra? Is it just because one instrument is not ...
brilliant's user avatar
  • 1,257
5 votes
1 answer
212 views

Help understanding basso continuo in Vivaldi's 'La Folia'

This piece by Vivaldi is shown in the score to be notated for 3 voices. However in performances, there are 4 instruments played: 2 violins, cello and keyboard. The keyboard, along with playing the ...
Jack999's user avatar
  • 233
4 votes
2 answers
602 views

Did Bach call for male countertenor for the Alto solo part for his cantatas / passion oratorios?

I see a recent trend for countertenors to sing the alto parts for Bach's cantata / passion oratorios such as Maarten Engeltjes in Magnificat and Tim Mead in St. Matthew Passion. Is this recent trend ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
381 views

Should staccatissimo be observed in Bach's Fugue in D Minor in WTC 1 BWV 851

I am using the "Edition Peters" and there are notes which have a staccatissimo sign under some notes. Should these be observed? It seems to me that it disrupts the overall tonal quality of ...
Mary Scriven's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
855 views

Timing of grace notes in Chopin's Waltz in a minor

Consider the following: (Chopin At the Piano - Verlag) Should the grace notes be played before the beat or on the beat? I am reading a book on music theory, and it says: (The AB Guide to Music ...
Darren's user avatar
  • 463
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do you play a low Eb on a double bass?

The opera Das Rheingold starts with four of the double basses playing a low E-flat, one half step below the lowest E on a bass with standard tuning. In the sheet music, there is the instruction that ...
viggo's user avatar
  • 277
2 votes
1 answer
199 views

How to play measures 5 through 7 of Mozart's Turkish March

How do you play this highlighted part from Turkish March on the keyboard? Press GAB together? Or 1 after the other with GA quickly? It sounded weird after the first bar that way. Do I press E that is ...
Julia Jose's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
623 views

Rolled chords: how much flexibility in the rhythm?

Best way to illustrate this question is by example, looking at Liszt's transcription of Beethoven's 6th symphony, movement 2. Compare 9:30 in: to the very start of: ...
BenG's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes
5 answers
401 views

Do you need to improvise to be a virtuoso? [closed]

In other words, how deeply connected with music do you have to be to be a virtuoso? Is mechanistic perfection sufficient or do you have to have proficiency in all aspects of music, imrovisation, ...
Ivan's user avatar
  • 553
7 votes
2 answers
605 views

Small bore trombone in philharmonic orchestra - Berlioz symphonie fantastique

I was listening to this recording of Berlioz symphony by the French orchestra "Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France". After having a laugh about the clarinetist suffering from the ...
Thomas Lesgourgues's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Who decides how a historic piece is adjusted (if at all) for modern instruments?

Here we have a video of a historically-informed (or period) performance of Moonlight Sonata's first movement. Wikipedia notes: Some critics contest the methodology of the HIP movement, contending ...
Modal Nest's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do conductors scores ("partitur") ever differ greatly from the full score?

I believe most conductor’s scores are full scores, with all instruments appearing on them in a prescribed order, in the same notation the player will see However, it seems like there would be ...
Modal Nest's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
713 views

What is the meaning of the "chiaroscuro" sound that was considered ideal in Classical and early-Romantic Italian opera?

Apparently, in Classical and early-Romantic Italian opera (the "bel canto" opera repertoire), the ideal kind of vocal colour was a so-called chiaroscuro sound. The chiaro- part translates as ...
Julian Newman's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Are German lieder usually flexible re male or female singers?

I've been listening to a lot of Schubert lieder - it's a form I'm learning more about. Are lieder vocals generally non-gender specific? It seems that there can be either a male or female vocal on the ...
timbo's user avatar
  • 927
8 votes
3 answers
689 views

Extra notes (triplets) in a Bach manuscript?

My question relates to an answer by @Peter to this earlier question Different versions of mordents in Bach Invention No. 1 In C Major, BWV 772 Here's what we usually see However, in Peter's answer, ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
161 views

How did Victorian Christmas carolers sing Christmas carols?

Do we have any idea of how Victorian Christmas carolers actually sang Christmas carols? What chords did they use, did they use ornaments etc, were there special ways that they ended the Christmas ...
Ana Maria's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
191 views

Playing symphonies by e.g. Rachmaninoff or Mahler using string instruments with gut strings (like more Baroque styled instruments)?

I was listening to some performances from Netherland's "All of Bach" group that performs Bach works on Baroque instruments. I quite liked the sound of the strings, and I thought that it ...
D.R.'s user avatar
  • 458
1 vote
3 answers
594 views

Term for One person performing a whole Arrangement with nothing else accompanying (As a Cover)

Like how "Unplugged Version" means the Original Song has been performed with 0 usage of technology-stuff (other than Microphone) [No editing, Acoustic Instruments only, No Faders, No ...
RishiNandha Vanchi's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

I can't play a piece after hours of practice! What do I do?

Right now, I am learning to play Nuvole Bianche by Ludovico Einaudi (here is a link: ) and I need to have a recording done by tomorrow for the piece. I started learning ...
Jessica Cooper's user avatar
24 votes
6 answers
11k views

Why do some pianists occasionally play their hands at different times?

Piano is not my main instrument, but I have always been taught that the same rhythms should always sound together. In other words, if both hands play on the downbeat of the measure, both hands should ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.8k
3 votes
3 answers
137 views

In general, do chamber musicians prefer to play from a score or from an individual part book?

Specifically in the context of Baroque trio sonatas. If part books are preferred, then what is the point of printing such works in score in the first place?
Kim Fierens's user avatar
  • 2,347
3 votes
3 answers
229 views

Difference between notes and recoding of performed BWV anhang 122

During the past weeks I've been studying BWV anhang 122, the march in D major. Sheet music can be found here. I'm more or less able to perform the piece, though not yet at the tempo indicated by the ...
MeanGreen's user avatar
  • 849
1 vote
0 answers
54 views

notation: stems in different direction [duplicate]

Should I play G on the 🎼 twice or hold it ? I’m confused how to play the right hand. Help me. Thanks 🙏
Amir Farhad's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
309 views

Has it always been the tradition for conceto soloists to have their music memorized?

At all the performances of concertos I've attended, the soloists perform without sheet music, whether it is a concerto for piano, viola, or horn. Has this always been the performance tradition for ...
cjm's user avatar
  • 1,123
1 vote
2 answers
277 views

getting started with solo acoustic gig

Questions music I’ve been out of practice since 2004, and have finally decided to get back into music and do a solo acoustic gig. Formerly I was lead guitar for a country rock band, so going from ...
Kenneth LaVoie's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
366 views

Are ups & downs/peaks and valleys inherent in piano practice and performance?

It sounds like a weird question, but I just don't know how to describe it in words; sometimes you are really good at performing the piece, and you feel enthusiastic and more confident, other times ...
Andrew Norfield's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
208 views

Are the same brain areas used for sports and music skills? [closed]

The setup to this question is that humans are good at predicting how things move, so a sportsman can anticipate where to move to on the field so they can catch a baseball that's in the air, or again ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
  • 11.7k
1 vote
1 answer
258 views

The Blues Face: Origins

I'm sure plenty of you guys know this situation well: Someone's playing some blues guitar lick, and right as things get real stanky, they make a weird face, seemingly in reaction to the lick they're ...
user45266's user avatar
  • 12.7k
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

How can I start to feel the beat while playing an instrument?

When I hear another one playing a piece on e.g. a piano I can usually notice if he's rushing or slowing i.e. not "feeling" the beat. But somehow I can't feel it while I'm playing the piano either, so ...
Eti2d1's user avatar
  • 133
7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Should you play baroque pieces a semitone lower?

I haven't really been able to find an answer to this question. I've only noticed that most instruments during the baroque period were tuned a semitone lower (A=415 Hz I believe). So shouldn't it make ...
user46792's user avatar
  • 1,477
2 votes
1 answer
382 views

Which is more common when spinning a jogwheel clockwise, going forward or backward in time?

On a DJ controller, which is the more common default setting for jogwheels, say, on CDJs at clubs? Clockwise to move forward in time (toward the end of the song), or counterclockwise? I learned ...
Andrew Cheong's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do they make "karaoke" versions of concertos for solo practice?

Say I as a pianist want to play/practice Saint-Saens's second piano concerto, but I happen to not have a symphony orchestra in my living room. How can I play this? Are there "pianoless" recordings to ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

Why doesnt my flute tone improve?

So i have been playing the flute for 5 years and a couple months ago, I purchased an intermediate level yamaha flute. I practice every single day for a minimum of an hour and i try to do long tones as ...
Natalie's user avatar
  • 13
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

How should I got about re-creating a melody in chiptune?

I am trying to recreate "Pure Vessel"(A.K.A. Path of Pain theme) by Christopher Larkin in chiptune. However, my first attempt at it was awful(my failed attempt), and I would appreciate it if I could ...
user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
574 views

Is there a musical difference between a work ending with a whole note and one ending with a whole note tied to an eighth?

Occasionally I come across pieces of music written for wind ensembles (or similar groups) such that the final held note of a piece is notated like so: In other words, the final note of the piece ends ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.8k
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Any tips on playing 5 and 6 note tuplets? (sheet music in desc)

http://www.gangqinpu.com/pu/2015/7/2/104346_155341.pdf bar 66 - 73 the notes are easy but just timing the triplets with the dotted notes in the left hand (whats it called? syncopation?) here is the ...
Jeffrey Tang's user avatar